CARACAS, Venezuela – Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro met on November 27 with the chairman of the Supreme People’s Assembly of North Korea, Kim Yong-nam. On the tour of the North Korean high-ranking official are also scheduled visits to Cuba and Mexico. Analysts commented on the possible travel goals.
The arrival of Kim Yong-nam marks a new step in relations between Pyongyang and such a distant region.
The development of relations between North Korea and Latin America was noted as early as November with the visit of President of Cuba, Miguel Diaz-Canel, to North Korea.
The meeting resulted in the signing of two agreements on political understanding and cooperation, political consultations on matters of common interest and abolition of visas for holders of diplomatic and service passports.
According to Venezuelan political scientist Walter Ortiz, the goal sought by both Venezuela and North Korea is to deepen bilateral political and diplomatic ties.
The analyst points out that the two countries have for some time been strengthening relations, especially in politics, and Kim Yong-nam’s visit is a sign of progress in foreign relations.
However, Ortiz pointed out, this trend is contrary to the interests of the United States. US President Donald Trump has made it clear that he intends to restore the Monroe Doctrine.
“North Korea wants to build with Latin America lines of socio-economic and political ties without the exclusive interference of the strategic interests of the United States,” he added.
Kim Yong-nam’s visit to some Latin American countries gives way to the possibility of opening the military issue. But, according to the analyst, military affairs will not be the exclusive area of cooperation between Pyongyang and Latin America.
In search of a clandestine alliance?
For Yevgeny Kim, a specialist at the Academy of Sciences in Russia of Korean origin, Kim Yong-nam’s visit is aimed, in the first place, at strengthening North Korea’s ties with countries that have chosen the path of socialist development.
“North Korea, Venezuela and Cuba will obviously resort to a policy that is not in accordance with US interest. It is clear that Washington does not like anything when these three countries try to coordinate their actions at such a high level,” he said.
The expert stressed that at the moment the three countries do not have enough strength to create an alliance against the US. On the other hand, he doubts Washington could accuse the three nations of idealizing a clandestine alliance against it.
“Currently, military cooperation between Cuba and North Korea is insignificant: it deals with the purchase of small arms and partly short-range artillery systems,” Kim said, commenting on possible exchanges in the area of defense.
As for Kim Jong-un’s visit to Latin America, this seems unlikely for security reasons, Kim said and recalled the North Korean leader’s transportation problem. In particular, he quoted Kim Jong-un’s trip to Singapore when Kim did not use his own plane, but a Chinese aircraft.
Although the North Korean leader’s visit to other parts of Latin America still seems unlikely, the first country to visit will surely be Cuba, he concluded.